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definition - Donald_Sutherland

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Donald Sutherland

Donald Sutherland

Sutherland in 2012
Born Donald McNicol Sutherland[1]
(1935-07-17) 17 July 1935 (age 76)
Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
Residence Georgeville, Quebec, Canada,
Santa Monica, California, US
Nationality Canadian
Education Victoria College
Alma mater University of Toronto
Occupation Actor
Years active 1962–present
Home town Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Spouse Lois Hardwick (1959–66)
Shirley Douglas (1966–70)
Francine Racette (1972–present)
Children Kiefer, Rachel
Rossif, Angus, Roeg
Awards See Awards and recognition

Donald McNichol Sutherland, OC (born 17 July 1935) is a Canadian actor whose film career spans nearly 50 years.[1] Some of Sutherland's more notable movie roles included offbeat warriors in popular war movies such as The Dirty Dozen, MASH and Kelly's Heroes, as well as characters in other popular films such as Klute, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, JFK, Ordinary People and, more recently, The Hunger Games as President Snow. He is the father of actor Kiefer Sutherland.[2]


  Early life

Sutherland was born in Saint John, New Brunswick, the son of Dorothy Isobel (née McNichol; 1892–1956) and Frederick McLea Sutherland (1894–1983), who worked in sales and ran the local gas, electricity, and bus company.[1][3] His ancestry includes Scottish, as well as German and English.[4][5] His teenage years were spent in Nova Scotia,[6] and he got his first part time job at age 14 as a news correspondent for local radio station CKBW in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. He then studied at Victoria College, University of Toronto, where he met his first wife Lois Hardwick (not the child star of the same name), and graduated with a double major in engineering and drama. He had at one point been a member of the "UC Follies" comedy troupe in Toronto. He changed his mind about becoming an engineer, and subsequently left Canada for England in 1957[7] to study at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.

  Early work

In the early-to-mid-1960s, Sutherland began to gain small parts in British films and TV. He featured alongside Christopher Lee in horror films such as Castle of the Living Dead (1964) and Dr. Terror's House of Horrors (1965), appeared in a 1967 episode of The Avengers entitled "The Superlative Seven" and twice appeared in the TV series The Saint, firstly in the 1965 episode "The Happy Suicide"[8] and then, more auspiciously, in the episode "Escape Route" at the end of 1966.[9] "Escape Route" was directed by the show's star, Roger Moore, who later recalled that Sutherland "asked me if he could show it to some producers as he was up for an important part... they came to view a rough cut at the studio and he got The Dirty Dozen".[10] Sutherland was then on course for the first of the three war films which would make his name: as one of the The Dirty Dozen in 1967, alongside Lee Marvin and Charles Bronson; as the lead "Hawkeye" Pierce in Robert Altman's MASH in 1970; and, again in 1970, as hippy-like tank commander Sgt. Oddball in Kelly's Heroes, alongside Clint Eastwood and Telly Savalas. In 1968, after the breakthrough in UK-made The Dirty Dozen, Sutherland left London for Hollywood.[7]

  Mid-career: 1972–2000

During the filming of the Academy award-winning detective thriller Klute, Sutherland had an intimate relationship with co-star Jane Fonda.[11] Sutherland and Fonda went on to co-produce and star together in the anti-Vietnam war documentary F.T.A. (1972), consisting of a series of sketches performed outside army bases in the Pacific Rim and interviews with American troops who were then on active service. A follow up to their teaming up in Klute, Sutherland and Fonda performed together in Steelyard Blues (1972), a "freewheeling, Age-of-Aquarius, romp-and-roll caper" from the writer David S. Ward. Also starring in this film was the late Peter Boyle (more recently known for his work in Everybody Loves Raymond).

Sutherland found himself in demand as a leading man throughout the 1970s in films such as the Venice-based psychological horror film Don't Look Now (1973), the war film The Eagle Has Landed (1976), Federico Fellini's Casanova (1976) and the thriller Eye of the Needle (which was filmed on location on the Isle of Mull, West Scotland) and as the ever-optimistic health inspector in the science fiction/horror film Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) alongside Brooke Adams and Jeff Goldblum. In 1975 he starred in Day of the Locust opposite Karen Black of Easy Rider and Five Easy Pieces fame; Sutherland played the lead character, Homer Simpson, in this drama based on the book by Nathanael West.

He helped launch the internationally popular Canadian television series Witness to Yesterday, with a performance as the Montreal doctor Norman Bethune, a physician and humanitarian, largely talking of Bethune's experiences in revolutionary China. Sutherland refused a script for this role, saying he knew Bethune's life so well they could ask him anything—and the interviewer ended up with enough material for two programs instead of the planned one.

Sutherland also had a small role as pot-smoking Professor Dave Jennings in National Lampoon's Animal House in 1978, making himself known to younger fans as a result of the movie's popularity. When cast, he was offered either US$40,000 up front or a percentage of the movie. Thinking the movie would certainly not be a big success, he chose the 40K upfront payment. The movie eventually grossed $141,600,000 (US).

He won acclaim for his performance in the Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci's 1976 epic film 1900 and as the conflicted father in the Academy award-winning family drama Ordinary People (1980) alongside Mary Tyler Moore and Timothy Hutton. In 1981 he narrated A War Story, an Anne Wheeler film. He played the part of physician-hero Norman Bethune in two separate biographical films in 1977 and 1990.

A prolific actor, some of Sutherland's better-known roles in the 1980s and 1990s were in the South African apartheid drama A Dry White Season (1989), alongside Marlon Brando and Susan Sarandon; as an incarcerated pyromaniac in the firefighter thriller Backdraft (1989) alongside Kurt Russell and Robert De Niro, Lock Up (1991) with Sylvester Stallone; and as the snobbish NYC art dealer in Six Degrees of Separation (1993), with Stockard Channing and Will Smith. In the 1991 Oliver Stone film JFK, Sutherland played a mysterious Washington intelligence officer, reputed to have been L. Fletcher Prouty, who spoke of links to the military–industrial complex in the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy.[12] He played psychiatrist and visionary Wilhelm Reich in the video for Kate Bush's 1985 single, "Cloudbusting".

In 1992, he played the part of Merrick in the movie Buffy the Vampire Slayer, with Kristy Swanson. He played a software company's scheming CEO in Barry Levinson's 1994 drama Disclosure opposite Michael Douglas and in 1995 was cast as the antagonistic Maj. Gen. Donald McClintock in Wolfgang Petersen's thriller Outbreak, also featuring Dustin Hoffman, Morgan Freeman, and Rene Russo.

Sutherland was later cast in 1997 (for only the second time) with his son Kiefer in Joel Schumacher's award-winning crime thriller A Time to Kill, based on the bestselling book of the same name, written by John Grisham. He played an aging yet ready-for-liftoff astronaut in 2000's Space Cowboys, co-starring with director Clint Eastwood.

  Recent work

  Several famous Canadians, including Sutherland, carrying the Olympic flag at the 2010 Winter Olympics opening ceremony in Vancouver.

In more recent years, Sutherland was noted for his role as Reverend Monroe in the Civil War drama Cold Mountain (2003), in the remake of The Italian Job (2003), in the TV series Commander in Chief (2005–2006), in the movie Fierce People (2005) with Diane Lane and Anton Yelchin, and as Mr. Bennet in Pride and Prejudice (2005), starring alongside Keira Knightley. He earned an Emmy nomination in 2006 for his performance in the miniseries Human Trafficking.

  Sutherland in 2005

Sutherland starred as Tripp Darling in the prime time serial Dirty Sexy Money for ABC. Sutherland's distinctive voice has also been used in many radio and television commercials, including those for Volvo automobiles. He is the spokesman for Simply Orange orange juice and recently he played multi-millionaire Nigel Honeycut in the Warner Bros. film Fool's Gold. He provided voice-overs and narration during the intro of 1st semifinal of Eurovision Song Contest 2009, and the Opening Ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, and was also one of the Olympic flag bearers. He was also narrator of CTV's "I Believe" television ads in the lead up to the Games. During the games, Sutherland attended some of the events. In 2010 he starred alongside an ensemble cast in a TV adaptation of Ken Follett's novel The Pillars of the Earth.

Sutherland portrayed President Snow in the movie adaptation of The Hunger Games, released in March 2012. He is slated to reprise the role in its sequel Catching Fire.

  Personal life

  Sutherland in 2011.

Sutherland was made an Officer of the Order of Canada on 18 December 1978[13] and was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame in 2000.[14] He maintains a home in Georgeville, in Quebec's Eastern Townships. Sutherland was a major fan of the Montreal Expos.[15]

Son Kiefer Sutherland, an actor best known for his role as Jack Bauer on the TV action/thriller series 24, and his twin sister, Rachel, were born to Donald Sutherland and his second wife, Shirley Douglas, daughter of Canadian politician Tommy Douglas.[16]

Donald Sutherland met his current wife, French-Canadian actress Francine Racette, on the set of the Canadian pioneer drama Alien Thunder. They have three sons: Rossif Sutherland, Angus Redford Sutherland, and Roeg Sutherland.[16]

His four sons have all been named after directors who Sutherland has worked with: Kiefer is named after American-born director and writer Warren Kiefer, who, under the assumed name of Lorenzo Sabatini,[17] directed Sutherland in his very first feature film, the Italian low-budget horror film Il castello dei morti vivi (Castle of the Living Dead); Roeg is named after director Nicholas Roeg; Rossif is named after French director Frédéric Rossif; and Angus Redford has his middle name after Robert Redford.[16]

Sutherland became a blogger for the American news website The Huffington Post during the 2008 election campaign.[18]

  Awards and recognition

  Sutherland's star on Canada's Walk of Fame



  1. ^ a b c "Donald Sutherland Biography". filmreference. 2008. http://www.filmreference.com/film/0/Donald-Sutherland.html. Retrieved 4 April 2008. 
  2. ^ celebritywonder.ugo.com
  3. ^ "Donald Sutherland Biography – Yahoo! Movies". Movies.yahoo.com. http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/contributor/1800010767/bio. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  4. ^ Buckley, Tom (17 October 1980). "At the Movies". The New York Times. http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=FA0911FE345511728DDDAE0994D8415B8084F1D3. 
  5. ^ Ancestry of Gov. Bill Richardson Retrieved 2012-06-17
  6. ^ The Gainesville Sun October 14, 1989: Sutherland gets a 'kick-start' for his soul Retrieved 2012-06-17
  7. ^ a b Donald Sutherland in TV interview during the shooting of The Eagle has Landed (on the DVD): "I was in England from 1957 until 1968." Checked 2012-06-17
  8. ^ "The Saint: The Happy Suicide". TV.com. http://www.tv.com/the-saint/the-happy-suicide/episode/135065/summary.html. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  9. ^ "The Saint: Escape Route". TV.com. http://www.tv.com/the-saint/escape-route/episode/135087/summary.html. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  10. ^ MM. "Episode #85 – 5–14". Home.arcor.de. http://home.arcor.de/simon.templar/saint/085.htm. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  11. ^ Mark Cousins (19 March 2001). "Donald Sutherland – Jane Fonda, "Klute", and "Don't Look Now". BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/films/2001/03/19/sutherland_scene_by_scene_2_article.shtml. Retrieved 4 April 2008. 
  12. ^ L. Fletcher Prouty JFK, p. xiv, Citadel Press, 1996 ISBN 978-0-8065-1772-8
  13. ^ Order of Canada citation
  14. ^ Canada's Walk of Fame: Donald Sutherland, actor.
  15. ^ Berkovich, John (16 September 2003). "Get rid of the Montreal Expos". Buzzle. http://www.buzzle.com/editorials/9-16-2003-45479.asp. Retrieved 28 August 2010. 
  16. ^ a b c The Observer 30 March 2008: On the money - interview with Donald Sutherland Retrieved 2012-06-16
  17. ^ Off Screen Volume 15, Issue 12, 31 December 2011: Warren Kiefer – The Man Who Wasn’t There Retrieved 2012-06-16
  18. ^ huffingtonpost.com, blog entries by Donald Sutherland
  19. ^ "Hollywood Chamber of Commerce". Hollywoodchamber.net. http://www.hollywoodchamber.net/index.php?module=blogs&blog_id=34. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  20. ^ "Donald Sutherland receives French honour". BBC. 10 June 2012. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-18386171. Retrieved 10 June 2012. 

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